According to the NBA odds, the favorite in the preseason for the NBA Rookie Of The Year Award is Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Here’s why and why not he’ll win the award this season:
Why He’ll Be The Rookie Of The Year
If Wiggins is going to be the Rookie Of The Year and cash on the +250 NBA odds, he’s going to use his best current strengths to his advantage. What are Wiggins’ best current strengths? The first one is his natural leaping ability. Wiggins gets off the ground and has such natural lift that he can explode to the rim and also sky for rebounds, maybe even a few blocked shots. One noticeable feature of Wiggins’ jumping skill is that he is a second-effort leaper, meaning that he’ll make a very high initial jump for a loose ball, but if he misses the ball on that first jump, he can then jump really high into the air on the second jump, after landing on his first. The ability to jump a second time after completing a first jump is very difficult for even the best athletes to execute, but Wiggins does this with a degree of comfort, and it’s just one of many reasons why scouts and talent evaluators were so in love with him. His capabilities as an athlete take your breath away, and so if Wiggins can use his leaping ability in all the right ways, he’s going to be a strong contributor on both offense and defense, which will win a lot of points in the NBA.
The other big strength for Wiggins is his effort itself – not the athleticism or the hops, but his desire. He always played hard at Kansas, and if he’s able to maintain a high level of professionalism on court in the NBA, he’s going to win a lot of respect throughout the league.
Why He’ll Be A Bust
This is the part that a lot of Wiggins fans don’t want to read or hear about, but it’s possible. After all, previous No. 1 picks in NBA drafts have failed. Last year’s top pick, Anthony Bennett, has actually joined Wiggins in Minnesota after being traded from Cleveland. Bennett has not panned out, even though there’s certainly time for him to be able to improve his game. Wiggins might not pan out, either. How will it happen, though?
If Wiggins turns into a bust, it will be for two main reasons: First, while Wiggins is a great leaper, he can be outmuscled and outfought for loose balls and positioning. Wiggins could turn into a finesse player who is not quite at the center of the action on a regular basis. His speed will help in the open court, but in halfcourt plays and in low-post situations, he might get overwhelmed.
The second reason Wiggins could be a bust is that his jump shot is not very good. Wiggins had a jump shot that deteriorated as the previous basketball season went along at the University of Kansas. Plenty of players get to the NBA and polish their shot, but if Wiggins can’t polish his own jumper, he’ll have nothing left to give to professional basketball. He’ll be a wasted investment as far as the Minnesota Timberwolves are concerned, as well as a wasted look for your NBA picks.